Mitochondrial genome diversity on the Central Siberian Plateau with particular reference to the prehistory of northernmost Eurasia

PLoS One. 2021 Jan 28;16(1):e0244228. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244228. eCollection 2021.


The Central Siberian Plateau was the last geographic area in Eurasia to become habitable by modern humans after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Through a comprehensive dataset of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes retained in the remnats of earlier ("Old") Siberians, primarily the Ket, Tofalar, and Todzhi, we explored genetic links between the Yenisei-Sayan region and Northeast Eurasia (best represented by the Yukaghir) over the last 10,000 years. We generated 218 new complete mtDNA sequences and placed them into compound phylogenies with 7 newly obtained and 70 published ancient mitochondrial genomes. We have considerably extended the mtDNA sequence diversity (at the entire mtDNA genome level) of autochthonous Siberians, which remain poorly sampled, and these new data may have a broad impact on the study of human migration. We compared present-day mtDNA diversity in these groups with complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples from the region and placed the samples into combined genealogical trees. The resulting components were used to clarify the origins and expansion history of mtDNA lineages that evolved in the refugia of south-central Siberia and beyond, as well as multiple phases of connection between this region and distant parts of Eurasia.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Mitochondrial / chemistry
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / classification
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / history
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Mitochondrial*
  • Haplotypes
  • History, Ancient
  • Human Migration
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Siberia


  • DNA, Mitochondrial